Mystery Guarantors For Indicted Lawmaker George Santos Revealed

The identities of the individuals who bailed out Rep. George Santos after his indictment have been revealed.

A U.S. district court judge on Thursday revealed the identities of two mysterious guarantors who bailed Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) out of jail following his indictment in May: his father, Gercino dos Santos Jr., and his aunt, Elma Preven.

Santos, a first-term congressman, pleaded not guilty last month to 13 federal criminal charges, including fraud against campaign donors, false claims on congressional disclosure forms, and lying to obtain unemployment benefits. After his initial court appearance, Santos was granted bail and released after posting a $500,000 bond, guaranteed by two mystery benefactors.

Speculation over their identities swirled for weeks as Santos fought to keep the names sealed. His father and aunt appeared in court last month to sign the bond, but didn’t have to post any cash or assets at the time — as guarantors, they merely had to agree to be “personally responsible” for Santos’ court appearances and bond conditions, according to The New York Times.

Initially, Santos appealed U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert’s decision to reveal the guarantors’ identities, arguing that the release would threaten their safety. However, his appeal was dismissed.

Santos’ lawyer, Joseph Murray, attributed the safety concern to the intense “media frenzy and hateful attacks” surrounding the case, saying Santos, who is openly gay, was the object of “extremely angry, anti-gay, anti-Republican, and all-around antisocial” hostility.

According to CNBC, Murray suggested that if the guarantors’ names were made public, they would likely withdraw their bond. The court said Santos could seek to modify the terms of his release if his guarantors revoked their bail guarantee, according to Reuters.

The names of the guarantors were requested by 11 media outlets, citing public interest. Additionally, the House ethics committee had been investigating Santos for months, and asked the court to release the guarantors’ names to investigate whether Santos violated the chamber’s regulations on gifts. Murray claimed in the motion to Seybert that the guarantors are “family members,” rather than donors “seeking to exert influence over the defendant.”

Santos was elected in November to represent parts of Long Island and Queens. He has been accused of lying extensively about his personal and professional background and has faced substantial criticism and calls for his resignation from members of both parties. Despite the pressure, Santos has vowed not to resign and is campaigning for reelection in 2024.

If Santos is found guilty on the most serious charges, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, according to the Justice Department. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 30.

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